J.T. Barnett played five seasons (2008-13) in the WHL, making stops with the Vancouver Giants, Kamloops Blazers, Everett Silvertips and Kelowna Rockets. He went on to play in the ECHL and in Europe before calling at a career after the 2017-18 season. He was 26. . . . So what’s he up to now? . . . Well, he has more than one million followers on social media, including more than 300,000 on TikTok. “I think I had potential in hockey,” he told Postmedia’s Steve Ewen. “I think I was a good player. I didn’t think I had a superstar’s attributes as a player. I think I’m a superstar at marketing.” . . . Ewen’s story is right here.
WHL PLAYOFF NOTES:
The WHL’s championship series got started on Friday night, as the Winnipeg Ice got past the Seattle Thunderbirds, 3-2, at the Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg. The announced attendance was 5,531, a few more than could have been accommodated in the Ice’s home facility, the Wayne Fleming Arena on the U of Manitoba campus. It has room for about 1,700 fans. . . . They are to play Game 2 there tonight. . . .
F Connor McClennon scored Winnipeg’s first goal in Game 1, his 14th of the playoffs. He and Seattle F Dylan Guenther lead the playoffs, each with 14. . . . D Ben Zloty of the Ice picked up one assist to run his point streak to eight games. He has one goal and 11 assists over that stretch. Zloty leads the WHL with 21 assists. . . . F Logan Stankoven of the Kamloops Blazers is No. 1 in points, with 30. Kamloops D Olen Zellweger is one point back, while Winnipeg F Matt Savoie, who had a seven-game point streak snapped, has 27. . . .
Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow), prior to Game 1 of the WHL final: “The first game has not been lucky as of late in the championship series as the last three have been taken by the eventual losing team as have half of the last 14 dating back to 2007. In 41 championships since 1980, 25 have been won by winner of Game 1.” . . .
Two players in the series are chasing their second straight Ed Chynoweth Cup. D Luke Prokop and F Dylan Guenther were with the Edmonton Oil Kings a year ago when they beat the Thunderbirds in six games in the final series.
FRIDAY IN THE WHL PLAYOFFS:
Seattle (2) at Winnipeg (1) — The Winnipeg Ice scored the game’s first three goals en route to a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Game 1 of the WHL’s best-of-seven final. . . . They’ll play Game 2 tonight in Winnipeg. . . . Games 3 and 4 are to be played in Kent, Wash., on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . Seattle had last played on Monday, when it beat the host Kamloops Blazers, 4-2, to take the Western Conference final, 4-2. . . . The Ice hadn’t played since May 3 when it went into Saskatoon and beat the Blades, 3-2, to complete a sweep of the Eastern Conference final. . . . F Connor McClennon (14) got the scoring started, on a PP, at 9:13 of the first period. . . . F Evan Friesen (5), one of three Winnipeggers on the Ice roster, made it 2-0 at 15:22, and F Carson Latimer (2) pushed it to 3-0 at 7:02 of the second period. . . . F Reid Schaefer (7) got Seattle’s goal 28 seconds into the third period. . . . D Kevin Korchinski (2) got Seattle to within a goal at 18:18 with G Thomas Milic on the bench for the extra attacker. . . . Seattle hit two posts and a crossbar in the third period, the latter off the stick of F Jared Davidson coming with time running out. . . . F Owen Pederson had the primary assist on each of Winnipeg’s last two goals. . . . Winnipeg was 1-for-4 on the PP; Seattle was 0-for-2. . . . G Daniel Hauser earned the victory with 27 saves, two more than Milic. . . . Seattle F Jordan Gustafson, who turned 19 on Jan. 20, was scratched again. He hasn’t played since April 30 in Game 2 of the Western Conference final with the Kamloops Blazers. . . . The Ice remains without D Wyatt Wilson, 19, who last played on April 22 in Game 5 of a second-round series with the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . BTW, the other two Winnipeggers on the Ice roster are D Carson Lambos and D Jonas Woo.
The Quebec Remparts opened the QMJHL’s championship final with a 5-1 victory over the visiting Halifax Mooseheads on Friday night. The announced attendance was 18,259, a single-game QMJHL record. . . . They’ll play Game 2 in Quebec City tonight. . . . F Justin Robidas (9) scored twice for Halifax, with F Pier-Olivier Roy (4) and F Theo Rochette (3) each adding a goal and two assists. . . .
The Red Deer Rebels have acquired D Elias Carmichael, 20, from the Kelowna Rockets for a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2024 draft. Carmichael, from Langley, B.C., has played four seasons with the Rockets. In 192 regular-season games, he has 13 goals and 47 assists. This season, he had six goals and 23 assists in 62 games. Carmichael was a second-round pick by the Rockets in the 2018 draft. . . . The Rockets also have D Jackson DeSouza, 20, on their roster. . . .
The BCHL’s Penticton Vees scored three second-period goals as they beat the visiting Alberni Valley Bulldogs, 4-3, in Game 1 of the championship final. . . . The announced attendance was 3,217. . . . The second game is to be played tonight in Penticton.
The 2023 Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for June 4, and Dorothy is taking part once again. She will celebrate 10 years as a kidney-transplant recipient in September, so the annual Kidney Walk is a big deal for her. In fact, she is participating for a 10th straight year. Yes, that means she is fund-raising, with all donations going to the Kidney Foundation. . . . If you are interested in helping, like maybe pushing her past $4,000, you are able to do so on her home page, which is right here.
Headline at The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton) — Tapping through Shoppers Drug Mart self-checkout screen enters third day.
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
Living Kidney Donor Program
St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182
Or, for more information, visit right here.